Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some Very Good Close-Combat Questions

Eriochrome brought up some great questions about how close combat should work. Let's go through each one and discuss them.
"Do you want to be able to prime a unit to lose the assault with suppression markers? IE do your precombat suppression markers influence your Ld tests during the combat?"
I hadn't really thought about it, but that sounds pretty cool! You pound a unit with shooting, and then charge in hoping to break them. I like it!

The only reservation I have is whether this is... just a bit too much for the first rules iteration. But I will do my best to come up with a simple system for this idea.
"How is effectiveness going to influence the Ld rolls. IE more damage I do to you less likely you keep fighting. We could use essentially use the same system as shooting: CAS + hits equal unit size maybe up to 2 markers. Or forced to take test when cas is suffered -1 nerve for some theshold be it out numbered or overloaded with hits."
I think that, as the combat continues, the side taking more damage should gradually see their chances of continuing the combat diminish. But my own questions would be:
  1. How much damage should it take to add a marker? A percentage? A set number of kills? Doing more than the enemy?
  2. What about if one side outnumbers the other? Should that also add a marker?
  3. What about additional markers for fear/terror?
  4. If both sides get markers (outnumbered unit vs. fear-causing unit), do they cancel each other out?
  5. When are markers assigned? After each side's attacks, or after both have attacked (attack + response)?
For number one, I'm thinking of simply saying that if you take any hits at all, you get a marker.

I don't want to make it damage-reliant, since that would not let a unit of infantry push back a Paladin or Monsterous Creature that they can't actually kill. The ability of infantry to repel things like Heavy Tanks is one of my favorite things about close-combat in Flames of War. Sure, you can't do anything to that Tiger Tank, but you can delay him. It's not like you just roll over and die because you didn't bring the WWII equivalent of a melta gun along.

Or maybe we just do an always-penetrate mechanic of 6 + 6 on two die rolls or something. Which would allow us to make suppression markers dependent on killing a model.
How do previous combat results carry forward? If you pick up markers do you keep adding to them making it more likely to break later in combat after several turns or do you just care about this time. 
It will have to be tested, but I would like the suppression markers to be kept as the combat continues.

Something like...

When you Assault by moving into contact, apply any of the following:
  1. If the total number of assaulting models is at least 2x greater than the number of defending models (or vice-versa), each unit of the numerically weaker side in the combat gets 1 SM (Suppression Marker) each.
  2. If any of the units involved in the combat on the assaulting side (or vice-versa) cause fear, then each of the units on the defending side get 1 SM.
There are other possibilities, such as Terror, or surprise charges from outside of LOS. But you get the idea.

Then, once all units have moved/shot, we get to the assault phase.
  1. The assaulting unit shoots with whatever weapons (pistols & shotguns probably) they're allowed to use while moving. Add suppression markers for hits/pens as normal (TBD).
  2. Then you conduct defensive fire. Add suppression markers as normal for hits/pens (TBD).
  3. The assaulting unit then makes a Ld check to actually start swinging. If they pass, they do their close-combat attacks. If they hit at least once, the defending unit gets a SM.
  4. The defending unit then makes a Ld check to consolidate X inches and swings. If they get at least one hit, the assaulting unit gets a marker.
  5. Combat continues this way until one of the units finally fails their Ld check and is forced to fall back X inches. 
  6. Any losing models within Z inches after the losing models fall back are destroyed (immobile guns mostly). 
  7. The winner of the combat gets to consolidate Y inches. If this puts any losing models within 2", they are then pushed back until they are 2" away.
  8. The losing unit(s) keep their suppression markers from the combat. 
  9. The winning unit(s) either:
    • Discard all of their suppression markers.
    • Or roll one die per Ld point, all passing dice remove one marker.
"Since we are not comparing results between sides it seems like we would want to avoid making to much amount the now. You could have it where he sides carry the markers from turn to turn but you clear your own markers by giving markers to the opponent."
I personally find the idea very appealing of each side gaining markers as the combat continues. It becomes a very real... drama... as to which side will break first. Even Nv4 Ld3 Knights would have a decent chance of breaking if you can get just 3 markers on them.

Ld Odds chart from our previous Leadership post.
"How many attacks are we getting in a round. In 40K I had some units that would delivery ~5 attacks per model with 10 models. Obvious such a level of attacks does not make sense for one side going first. I would say not so many way to get more attacks and most units with 1 per model. Knights might not overpower you with hits but the win the war of attrition unit you break."
I would like for the number of attacks per model to be very limited compared to 40K. With 1 attack per model mostly. I only want to give more than one attack to larger monsters/creatures as a rule. Basing it somewhat on size. I'm not sure yet whether to make tanks multi-attack, single-attack, or just make them hit every model within x inches.

Definitely though, the Knights shouldn't be slicing through you with multiple attacks each. The idea should really be that they just soak up punishment better than anyone else.


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